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Date PostedJuly 1, 2013

The Danger of inhaling Silica on construction sites

Workers in the Construction industry especially those working with concrete or glass are at risk of developing a condition termed Silicosis.

Silicosis occurs when fibrous tissue forms around the dust particles that have entered the lungs. This fibrous tissue does not allow for the easy exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, resulting in obstructed breathing, a problem for the worker.

Workers most vulnerable to contracting silicosis include underground mining, tunnelling and excavation workers, workers involved in extraction and cutting of quartzite, gneiss, granite and slate, workers involved in brick making or the manufacture of pottery, porcelain, refractory materials and siliceous abrasives, road construction workers and demolition workers.

This video from YouTube highlights the danger that silica can present to construction workers:


The only sure way of preventing silicosis is to avoid dust exposure but of course this is not always possible. Wherever possible, less toxic substances should be used rather than silica sand. Tools causing dust such as saws and grinders should be fitted with dust extraction devices.

Another important consideration is that of good housekeeping on site. Some of the measures that can be undertaken are vacuuming and wet sweeping rather than dry sweeping


Steven Asnicar is regarded as a leader across many fields of industry. In particular, his specialisation across the health, infrastructure, construction, resource and utility sectors has seen him successfully change the dynamics of these industries through the introduction of new strategic, marketing, training and technical frameworks. Steven works closely with industry peak bodies such as Safework Australia, Australian Logistics Council, National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE) and the Council of Australian Governments in the development of new delivery standards and industry specific programs.

Posted in General Construction, White Card, White Card Construction Site Safety Articles Tagged with: , , , , ,


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